Free Estimate Templates | Smartsheet (2023)

Smartsheet Contributor Andy Marker

May 14, 2018

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A job estimate, also called a work estimate, provides customers or stakeholders with a detailed look at the costs associated with a proposed job or project. In addition to estimated costs, it may also include a project timeline, terms and conditions, or a payment plan, and can be used to evaluate whether to move forward with a project.

Many service industries utilize work estimates, from construction and engineering to software development and other IT jobs. Templates offer an easy solution for creating professional estimates while saving time and money. Below, you’ll find everything you need to get started — a series of free work estimate templates for Microsoft Excel and Word as well as PDF.

Generic Job Estimate Templates

Job Estimate Template

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(Video) FREE Stellar Consulting Construction Estimate Template

This Excel estimate template includes itemized sections for listing materials, labor, and other charges. Enter rates and quantities for each item, and the template will automatically calculate total costs, including tax. The template also includes a tracking number, space for describing the project or work to be performed, and signature lines.

Hourly Work Estimate

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‌ ‌Download Hourly Work Estimate - Excel

This simple estimate sheet is designed for services that are billed hourly, which could include consulting, freelance work, skilled trades, delivery services, or other jobs. Include a project description and list the number of hours estimated for a task or project phase, along with hourly rates. Customers can see a breakdown of estimated costs, and you can customize the template to include terms or other information.

Construction Estimate Templates

Simple Construction Estimate Template

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Use this basic, blank estimate template to provide customers with an appraisal of costs for a given project. List labor, materials, permits, subcontractor fees, and other items, along with the total project cost. The simple format makes the information easily accessible to customers, and the template can be modified to suit your needs.

Contractor Estimate Template

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‌ Download Contractor Estimate Template - Excel

Contractors can use this detailed estimate spreadsheet to plan project estimates and track actual expenses, including payments to vendors. This is a useful planning tool to help ensure that estimates are as accurate as possible, especially for complex construction projects that involve multiple types of work performed by various subcontractors. Edit the template to include all of the tasks and fees relevant to a specific job.

Bid Tabulation Template

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A detailed bid tabulation can help ensure that a final bid for a project is accurate and competitive. List bids from multiple contractors to either compare bids or compile vendor proposals for a more accurate estimation of the total costs of a project. The template calculates subtotals and final costs based on the unit amounts that you enter.

Remodeling Estimate Template

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Download Remodeling Estimate Template

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Excel | Word | PDF

Geared toward remodel projects, this estimate form breaks down expenses by room, type of work, appliances, materials, and other costs. Edit the template to include all of the elements involved in a specific remodel project. Add costs for each line item, and enter details about the job location, tracking number, and other information at the top of the form. Homeowners could also use this form to help develop an initial budget for a remodel.

Work Estimates by Job Type

Auto Repair Estimate Template

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Download Auto Repair Estimate Template

Excel | Word | PDF

Create an estimate for automotive repairs that includes vehicle information, a list of repairs, parts, and labor costs. Customize the template by adding a company logo and business info, including payment terms or other conditions that customers need to be aware of. Include subtotals for labor and materials so that customers can see a breakdown of expenses.

Painting Estimate Template

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Download Painting Estimate Template

Excel | Word | PDF

This template allows you to list projected costs for both interior and exterior painting jobs. Columns are included for listing specific tasks, materials to be used, labor, and total costs. You can also add a billing address, a job location, a work deadline, and other relevant details. Create a comprehensive painting estimate for residential or business locations.

Roofing Estimate Template

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Download Roofing Estimate Template

Excel | Word | PDF

Roofing contractors can use this estimate template to list all of the elements required for a roof installation. Identify the type of shingles to be used, other roofing materials, labor costs, and additional charges. Include cost estimates for more than one roofing option if customers want to compare costs for different materials or installation methods.

Landscaping Estimate Template

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(Video) Estimate Faster with Estimate Templates

Download Landscaping Estimate Template

Excel | Word | PDF

Provide customers with a detailed estimate for landscaping jobs, including a work description, required materials, individual tasks, and unit prices. Be sure to include any equipment, delivery, or waste disposal charges if needed. You can download this estimate template, along with the other templates above listed by job type, as an Excel sheet, Word document, or PDF form.

Project Management Estimate Templates

Project Estimate Template

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‌ Download Project Estimate Template - Excel

This project estimate spreadsheet offers sections for listing project phases and associated costs based on the number of hours needed, personnel costs, and other expenses. You can also include starting and ending dates, names for the project manager, the client, or other stakeholders, and planned deliverables or project outcome(s). Use this template to create an initial cost estimate to help determine the viability of a project and the budget required.

Software Development Estimate Template

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‌ Download Software Development Estimate Template - Excel

Use this software development estimate to evaluate the work effort and financial cost required to complete a project. Include resources required for different phases and activities in the development process. This is a simple Excel sheet template that can easily be edited to estimate costs for a wide range of projects.

Three-Point Cost Estimating Template

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‌ Download Three-Point Cost Estimating Template - Excel

This template utilizes the three-point cost estimating method, with best-case, most likely, and worst-case scenarios included. Enter your data, and the template will automatically calculate weighted averages for each line item. A total amount is listed at the top of the template for a quick overview, and there is also room for additional notes.

Parametric Cost Estimating Template

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Parametric estimating can be a quick and accurate method for projects that involve uniform, repeatable tasks, as opposed to projects that involve a wide range of variable work. This template includes sections for product and labor expenses, with lists for adding items and tasks, unit costs, and hourly rates. Subtotals — as well as a combined total cost estimate — are provided for each line item.

(Video) How to Estimate Construction Projects Using The *FREE Google Sheet Template* From BuildBook

Why Use a Job Estimate?

While job estimates are not binding contracts, they do provide written documentation of an initial evaluation of costs. This documentation is important for maintaining accurate records, comparing actual expenses to the original estimate, and planning estimates for similar projects in the future. Clear documentation may also help to avoid any misunderstandings with customers and support the creation of a realistic quote or contract. This way, both contractor and customer have some level of financial and legal protection. The process of creating a job estimate also helps to outline the parameters of a project as each step is identified and evaluated for cost.

One of the benefits of using an estimate template is the ability to reuse a standardized form to boost efficiency and provide consistent, professional communications with clients. Rather than creating a new estimate form for each client, you can simply adjust the deadlines, expenses, materials used, and other details based on the scope of a project and customer needs.

Project managers who work on IT development projects have the difficult task of translating the scope of a project into an accurate estimation of costs and scheduling. This can be especially challenging when using Agile development methods, which tend to evolve over time. The goals of cost estimating for IT projects are similar to the goals of cost estimating for other types of projects. These goals include matching resources with a project timeline, creating an accurate budget, helping define the scope of a project, and avoiding cost overruns. For these projects, cost estimating will likely be an ongoing process that requires consistent updates in order to maintain accuracy. As with other work estimates, maintaining detailed records can help inform cost estimations for future projects.

Construction Job Estimates

Depending on the type and scale of construction project, estimating can be a complicated process and involve multiple stages of estimation, including design-phase estimates, competitive bids, and control estimates (which are used for tracking cost performance and making adjustments during a project). Cost estimating for large-scale construction projects must account for contingencies, such as potential schedule adjustments, changes in labor costs over the course of a long project, weather issues, and other factors.

There are a couple of approaches to cost estimating for construction jobs:

  • Stick Method: This method accounts for all materials to be used on a project (including each “stick” of wood), the hourly labor required, subcontractor bids, overhead costs, and any other expenses involved in completing the job. Each item is listed and added up to show the total cost estimate. This method works well for small projects, but would be time consuming and cumbersome for larger jobs.
  • Unit Cost Method: Rather than adding up current prices for each item as in the stick method, this approach applies a unit cost to each aspect of a job. These unit costs are predetermined and can be drawn from an estimating manual. The estimate that a customer receives still includes a list of line items, but it may group them: For example, the unit cost for drywall may include the cost for all materials required to install it, rather than list each one as a separate cost. By grouping project elements, this method saves time. Moreover, the use of past experience helps determine an accurate cost of labor.

Both estimating systems would also include a markup of the final price. Submitting a low estimate may help a contractor get a job, but it won’t help them to stay in business. Estimates need to be realistic in order to keep both vendors and customers happy.

Estimate Software: Pros and Cons

Because cost estimating can be highly complex, some businesses may choose to use software to help manage the process. Larger companies dealing with multiple, large-scale jobs may find that using software is more efficient, cost effective, and accurate, due to a reduction in human errors. However, the costs associated with software may outweigh the benefits for smaller businesses or independent contractors. Using software may also involve a learning curve and require frequent updates in order to stay current, especially in industries that are continually evolving. Before investing in estimating software, explore the benefits and drawbacks of different tools, read consumer reviews, and try a free trial if possible before committing to a certain product.

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(Video) Conceptual Cost Estimate Template + Free Download

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